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Cambridge City 3 Hitchin Town 1

Saturday, December 27 2008

Action from Milton RoadIt would be easy to point to another inept performance from an official for spoiling Hitchin’s afternoon, but the Canaries can have few complaints about the outcome of a stirring local derby.

Unfortunately, the big talking point among both sets of supporters was Mr Feerick’s over exuberance to wave yellow cards in the air, particularly when it came to Hitchin players. Some suggested that Feerick, being domiciled in Peterborough, may have been showing some bias towards his home county, but there were also vehement complaints from the home side, who at times were treated with the same disdain by the official.

As for the game itself, Cambridge were too wily and had too much in reserve for Hitchin. Not that the Canaries played badly, far from it. They gave everything, took the lead and worked hard for 90 minutes. Cambridge are on the fringes on the play-offs and they look a good second half of the season bet to slip into the top five.

Cambridge, just as they did at Top Field a couple of weeks ago in the Southern League Cup, struck the woodwork early on, when Neil Midgley - not that he knew it - saw the ball rebound off him and onto the bar. Midgley and Adrian Cambridge both forced Martin Bennett into saves before Hitchin took a surprise lead after 19 minutes, Paul Barnes headed home after a cross by Russell Bull.

Ramon Calliste headed against the crossbar and Bennett saved again from the busy Adrian Cambridge before the latter equalised five minutes from the break. A low free kick on Bennett’s right hand side, was powered low into the area and although it took a deflection, Cambridge claimed the goal.

Hitchin started well in the second half, with Des Boateng having two chances saved by Zac Barrett. But in the 55th minute, Cambridge City took the lead through central defender David Theobald. His first effort was parried by Martin Bennett but the rebound was forced home from close range.

There was a setback for the home side in the 77th minute as substitute Jason Krause was went off for a lunging tackle on Scott Balderson. Hitchin were unable to take advantage, although late pressure almost yielded a penalty when Paul Barnes was upended by Barrett. Like many decisions on a bitter afternoon, it needed some explaining.

The final word went to the impressive Scott Neilson, who ran the length of the field and sent a low shot into the net to complete Hitchin’s misery.

Cambridge City (1)3 Hitchin Town (1)1

Cambridge: Barrett, Nunn, Chaffey (Krause 50), Theobald, Smith, Nightingale, Neilson, Cambridge, Calliste (Bloomfield 85), Midgley, Fuller (Ratcliffe 65)

Scorers: Cambridge 40, Theonald 55, Neilson 90

Hitchin: Bennett, Pepper, Ellams, E’Beyer, Gilbert, McDevitt, Lewis, Stupple (Tocco 79), P.Barnes, Bull (Balderson h/t), Boateng (Williams 79)

Scorers: Barnes 19

Referee: S.Feerick

Attendance: 432

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